I was walking with Clint and Adam on Claremont, heading home from work. They were headed to McSorley’s Pub and invited me to join them. Clint had never been there. I had been there too many times in college. I begged out – kids, husband, dinner to make. (I had wanted to and now, of course, I wish I had.)
For some reason as we walked to the subway that night, we got talking about our cell phones. They both told me I had to get Google Maps. Clint said it was great for getting around the city, for finding your way.
People are complex. It shows in their friendships. Like the friendship between Clint and Adam.
“Clint and Adam were best friends? But they’re so different!” Charlotte, one of my 10-year olds, told me a few days ago. Not so different – both handsome, quick-witted, global. Their thirty-something year age difference didn’t seem to matter.
Clint saw beyond perceived differences in people. He seemed to make and keep friends easily.
Clint was devoted to his unlikely and diverse family of friends. I realized this during the worship at the fall board meeting a few years ago. During that service, the presiding bishop asked family and close friends who knew each new missionary or had walked with them on their life’s journey to stand. I felt too embarrassed to stand up for anyone, although I knew and liked some of the new missionaries.
The Vangs are members of the United Methodist Hmong Community of Minnesota. They were being commissioned to serve in Southeast Asia. When the Vangs names were spoken, Clint stood. He stood very tall, very happy, very proud. He was not embarrassed. Afterwards, he hugged the Vangs tightly.
A colleague told me that Clint had a heart for Southeast Asia. It surprised me. I don’t know why. Yes, Clint had a folksy, Texan, big-hearted charm. I just had not seen Clint as the global, diverse, loving man he was until that worship when I saw him hugging the entire Vang family. He was such a gentle giant.
As a tribute to Clint who cultivated such a diverse group of friends like Adam and the Vangs, I, too, want to stand for people who appear different. I think, even better than Google Maps, that was the way Clint found his way around.